By Monica O’Wheel – COFA Committee Chairperson
Last night I attended Cathy McGowan’s meeting on her national tour, asking us to support the campaign, with Rural Australians for Refugees, to get a resolution for the men who have been detained on Manus Island. It is about taking one campaign at a time. Like getting the Kids off Nauru last year. Then the Medevac legislation. This is the next step.
There is a new government in Papua New Guinea and they want an end to the detention regime. Most of the men have been moved from Manus Island to Port Moresby, 55 are in a wing of a prison, another group are in a hotel and are not allowed out of it and a third group are in hospital.
Right now we want to write letters to our local Liberal members of parliament and Liberal Senators to ask two questions:
– What will it take for the Australian government to accept the New Zealand Deal?
– What will happen to those in Papua New Guinea if we don’t?
Please write a letter or 5 to build the momentum in this campaign. Then follow up with a phone to your local member.
They are also working on pressuring the Labor Party to take action too.
Please read the email from Rural Australians for Refugees below as they are leading with this campaign.
The push to revive the New Zealand offer to settle asylum seekers currently detained in Papua New Guinea continues, with PNG PM Marape wanting the Australian government to bring the offshore arrangement to an end without this bad policy left perpetually in PNG’s hands. Check the RAR website for the latest information and share on Facebook and twitter the latest action you or your group have taken using the hash tag #toNZ, but also read on …
Following up on the earlier call for emails to senators generally and LNP members, in particular, a kit has been developed which will be distributed separately to member groups and supporters. The actions needed include:
ALP and Greens MPs – now
Anthony Albanese is going to New Zealand. Email your local ALP member to ask to that Albanese request New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern to reissue her invitation to resettle asylum seekers in New Zealand to the Australian and PNG governments.
Email your local Greens Senator and ask them to contact New Zealand Greens MPs to encourage Ardern to renew the offer to re-settle the asylum seekers in New Zealand.
Follow up if you can with phone call to ask for a meeting with your local member/Senator….be polite, persistent, and friendly: build a relationship.
Find your members contact details here
Encourage PNG figures to act – from 27 September
Email (or write to) Prime Minister James Marape and others to congratulate the PNG government on moving the Asylum Seekers from Manus and ask it to consider the offer of the New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern to settle the asylum seekers in New Zealand.
Prime Minister James Marape
C/-National Parliament, PO Parliament House, WAIGANI, NCD 131, Papua New Guinea
Ph: +675 3277317
Fax: +675 3277480
PNG Immigration and Border Security Minister, Petrus Thomas, and the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority.
Email: clientservice@immigration. gov.pg
Petrus Thomas Ph. +675 3277 510
Ph. +675 3277 508
Fax +675 3277480
PNG ICA. www.ica.gov.pg
Ph.+675 327 6100
PNG High Commission
We can also email the Catholic Bishops that Australians do not support offshore detention and want the asylum seekers to be settled in a country where they are valued, free and can lead productive lives.
Fr Giorgio Licini PIME, the General Secretary of the Bishops’ Conference
Bishop Rochus Tatamai MSC, President of the Bishops’ Conference
Towards a Refugee Protection Bill
Andrew Wilkie will introduce a Refugee Protection Bill on Monday October 21. Its aim is to get the Australian government with the help of the opposition to accept the NZ offer to resettle asylum scurrently in PNG.
RAR is partnering with many other refugee advocacy and support groups to campaign for this bill to be successful! Please read the bill here EM-Refugee Protection Bill and find out more about the activities planned in support
Check https://www.ruralaustraliansforrefugees.org.au/events/ for details of all upcoming campaign events.